Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Keppel FELS, has received an order from Awilco Drilling for the construction of a repeat mid-water semisubmersible (semi) drilling rig for harsh environment use, for approximately $425m.

11Mar - Keppel

Image: Keppel to supply mid-water harsh environment drilling rig worth $425m for Awilco. Photo: Courtesy of num_skyman/

The present contract follows the exercise of an option by Awilco in accordance with the earlier contract between Keppel FELS and Awilco for a similar rig. As part of that transaction, Awilco has independent options to order up to another two similar rigs to be exercised in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Keppel said that the terms of the present repeat order depends on the finalization and signing of definitive agreements between the parties within 15 days of the exercise of the option.

The rig is expected to be built to Moss Maritime’s CS60 ECO MW design and is scheduled for completion in first quarter of 2022. The rig is specially designed, configured and outfitted similar to the first rig.

The rig will be used for mid-water operations in water at approximately 1,500m depth and is capable of working in the harsh environments of North West Europe, including the Barents Sea.

Keppel O&M executive director Tan Leong Peng said: “We are pleased that Awilco has decided to exercise its first option. It demonstrates the confidence in the solutions that Keppel provides the strength of our partnership, and the growing confidence in the market.

“Work on the first rig is progressing well and we will be able to benefit from economies of scale and cost efficiencies from undertaking a repeat project. For this second rig, we will be able to leverage the engineering and construction process of the first rig to further improve productivity.”

Once completed, the drilling rig is expected to have a low environmental footprint and capable of operating in harsh environments, including the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the UK Continental shelf and the Barents Sea.

The company said that the drilling rig is equipped with a hydraulic hoisting system capable of two million pounds of lifting capacity, and features an optimised 12 point thruster assisted mooring system for vessel station keeping, complete with hybrid power supply and energy saving features.

Awilco Drilling board chairman Sigurd E. Thorvildsen said: “We have exercised the first of our three options because we see growing demand for such mid-water, harsh environments rigs in North West Europe.

“Our partnership with the world’s leading rig builder, Keppel, enables us to offer our customers confidence in receiving a high specification rig that is purpose-designed, setting a new environmental standard and equipped with the latest technology.

“The progress on the first rig has been exemplary and we look forward to receiving this second rig with the hallmark Keppel quality, reliability, timeliness and safety.”